Ece Temelkuran


“We’re on the run. Barreling south in a white car at a hundred and forty kilometers an hour. I’m in the back. On my left a woman with a yellow wig aslant on her head, as still as stone. On my right a bald woman wearing a white headscarf, her leg bouncing up and down. An elderly one-eyed man is at the wheel. An old grey-haired woman dressed in lilac silk is riding shotgun with her face to the wind, without a care in the world.

The bald woman says, “Where are we going?”

The old woman, “South.”

Angry, the bald woman digs in:

“Just how far south?”

The old woman replies:

“Way down south.”

Not long ago I was about to make my way back to Istanbul. Now I’m on the brink of the most terrifying and wonderful trip I’ve ever taken. I remember how it all began and to this day I still have a hard time believing it ever really happened.”

ece temelkuran


And stepping through the terrace door covered in jasmine we came to meet the woman whose voice had bounced down the stairs like a marble. She was standing in the middle of the terrace, her arms flung open. She was a tiny little woman who seemed taller than she really was. The kind of woman who gave you the impression she was in her late sixties but who had to be in her late seventies. You got the feeling that her thin grey hair had been deftly pulled up into a bun years ago and was like that ever since. She was the kind of woman whose beautiful traits remained even after her beauty was gone. No doubt she could have starred in The Lady of the Camillias if they made a sequel to the film – she was that sort of lady. Her dark blue, gold-enameled vintage belt draped down over her lilac-colored dress with green patterns, nearly touching the floor. She stood with the patience of a lady of the salon who knew the weight of every second. Her gestures seemed slow or rather she avoided the superfluous gestures her younger counterparts might deploy to fill space. She was like a poem made plain with patience. Draped around her neck was a the hand of Fatima talisman, the type of which I had never seen before. Bracelets dangled from her wrist and her thin, silvery hands were covered with rings adorned with diamonds and rubies. And there we were standing across from her like bums with shoulders slumped, one of us bald, one with swollen eyes and me a little drunk. Our modern day clothes fringed and frayed, we looked meek in the face of this black and white prima donna. We were stepped in the indifference of a decisive defeat. In the face of her womanhood, we were three young boys who had just finished a game of football.

“Please come in ladies,” she said. “Do make yourselves comfortable.

Dinner will be ready soon! A glass of rose wine?”


“Ece Temelkuran’s second novel is like firework. It is the book where the Twitter and the A thousand and one nights fairytales meet.”

Proffessor Hannes Kraus, KulturWest, 2014

“Women Who Blow On knots is an extremely inspiring novel and it is the the resistance of an independent intellectual”

Jean Baptiste Hamelin, Pages des Libraries, 2016

“A loving, feminist and fairytale-like ‘partners in crime’ novel which is a breathtaking thriller at the same time.”

Le Progres Social, France

“The novel seems like a fairytale but actually it is also a first class geopolitical analysis of today’s world.”

L’Alsace, Switzerland

“Ece Temelkuran has ten thousands eyes to look at the world.”

Sabit Fikir, Literary Magazine